Instagram dabbles in curated collections with Halloween video push

Instagram is following similar efforts from Snapchat and Twitter to turn public, user-created content into collections centered around specific events.


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Instagram got into the Halloween spirit on Saturday by giving a fright to Snapchat and Twitter. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing service, which now claims 400 million users, created a curated collection of Halloween videos posted to the service for Instagram users to view.

“Watch Halloween’s best videos,” a banner notification at the top of Instagram’s mobile apps read over the weekend in the U.S. “Experience Halloween with videos from across the country.”

Instagram told Recode that the curation trial with Halloween is “just the start” with more to come. “This is a new way to experience events and big moments, as they happen, through the eyes of the Instagram community,” an Instagram spokesperson told Recode.

Instagram’s new curated video feature follows similar efforts from both Snapchat and Twitter. In June, Snapchat introduced a feature called Live Stories that compiles posts from a particular event into a single collection—a feature very reminiscent of the failed social app Color.

Twitter responded to Live Stories in October with a new feature called Moments. A new tab in the Twitter apps on mobile and the web features curated tweets centered around a specific news story, such as the Kansas City Royals’ World Series win and the death of actor and former Senator Fred Thompson.

Why this matters: Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are all what you might call “ephemeral social networks.” That is, their content is meant to be created and consumed within a short time of being posted. Twitter has best exemplified this, acting as a tool for receiving updates during crises or conflicts around the world. In fact, Moments merely builds on what users were already doing on Twitter with hashtags and general searches. Live Stories and Instagram’s new curated videos, meanwhile, appear to be attempts at staking a claim in the same territory as Twitter by highlighting as-it-happens content, bringing much-needed public features to these more intimate social networks.

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